RSPCA warns dog-lovers to beware of pet-shop puppy traffickers

Families planning to buy a new puppy for the kids during the summer holidays are being urged to do their homework before rushing off to the pet shop.











The dogs on display may be supplied by puppy traffickers, who are a real problem for the RSPCA as they breed dogs en masse to make money, with little care for their welfare.



Yet an online survey has shown that a quarter of people would still consider buying a puppy from a pet shop, despite widespread understanding that it is important to see the pup with its mother.



Tim Wass, the RSPCA's chief of inspectorate, said: "So many puppies are still supplied by the puppy traffickers, many of whom operate outside of the UK, and produce puppies like a factory production line, with concern only for profit and not for animal welfare.



"We still regularly hear about people who have found themselves with very sick puppies and hefty vet bills just days after they have taken their pet home.



"The latest survey results are a big concern for us and we urge people thinking about getting a puppy to question everything rather than act on impulse by letting their heart rule their head."



The number has risen from 11 per cent of people considering pet shop purchases in the same survey last year, but in direct contrast, 81% of respondents said they felt it was important to know where their puppies had come from.



The RSPCA believes improvements need to be made to how pet shop and breeding licences are issued and enforced in England and Wales.



It hopes to work together with licensing authorities to lower the number of puppies who fall sick or die shortly after being brought home, through diseases such as the potentially fatal canine parvovirus, because imported dogs may not be protected in other countries.



The number of these occurrences seem to be growing. In 2008, pubic watchdog Consumer Direct received 4,627 calls about newly purchased sick dogs, compared to 2,793 in 2006. Since March this year the RSPCA has received almost 500 calls about the puppy trade.



Tim said: "We would like to see minor changes and additions to licence conditions for pet traders to address issues such as traceability, vaccinations and disease control to make them more accountable for the welfare of the puppies they sell.



"The RSPCA is committed to tackling problems associated with the trade in puppies and by working with local authorities we hope to make sure anyone buying a puppy will find the healthy and happy pet they deserve."



The RSPCA's general advice for buying a puppy is to be cautious: do not buy a dog just because you feel sorry for it. If a puppy breeder cannot show you the mother, be suspicious, and if possible see the father too.



Vaccination cards can be easily faked, and if the vet's contact details are not visible or are not located in the UK, there may be a problem with the puppy's background.



For more information visit the RSPCA's website at http://www.rpsca.org.uk/buyingapuppy. If you are concerned about the health or welfare of a puppy, please contact the RSPCA on 0300 1234 999.



Anyone who has already purchased a sick puppy is advised to contact Consumer Direct on 08454 040506 or to go to http://www.consumerdirect.gov.uk.

Discover more property articles at Homes and Property
Suggested Topics
News
people'It can last and it's terrifying'
Sport
Danny Welbeck's Manchester United future is in doubt
footballGunners confirm signing from Manchester United
Sport
footballStriker has moved on loan for the remainder of the season
News
people Emma Watson addresses celebrity nude photo leak
PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Hare’s a riddle: Kit Williams with the treasure linked to Masquerade
booksRiddling trilogy could net you $3m
Arts and Entertainment
Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand performs live
music Pro-independence show to take place four days before vote
News
news Video - hailed as 'most original' since Benedict Cumberbatch's
News
i100
Life and Style
The longer David Sedaris had his Fitbit, the further afield his walks took him through the West Sussex countryside
lifeDavid Sedaris: What I learnt from my fitness tracker about the world
Property search
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

SEN Teachers and Support Staff

£50 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: Are you an SEN Teacher or L...

SharePoint Engineer - Bishop's Stortford

£30000 - £35000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A highly successful organ...

Planning Manager (Training, Learning and Development) - London

£35000 - £38000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glob...

SEN Teaching Assistant

£50 - £70 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: Are you a Teaching Assistant...

Day In a Page

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes': US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food served at diplomatic dinners

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes'

US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food
Radio Times female powerlist: A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

Inside the Radio Times female powerlist
Endgame: James Frey's literary treasure hunt

James Frey's literary treasure hunt

Riddling trilogy could net you $3m
Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

What David Sedaris learnt about the world from his fitness tracker
Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Second-holiest site in Islam attracts millions of pilgrims each year
Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering